Say what you will about ‘yuru-kyara – the marketing idea that can be basically summed up as Japan’s “let’s have a cartoon mascot for EVERYTHING!” philosophy – but the vast majority of those funny characters adopted by prefecture and town tourism boards across the nation are nothing if not cute!

Take Princess Miyako, character mascot of Miyako-machi in Fukuoka Prefecture. Designed by illustrator Shiitake, Princess Miyako is the picture of youthful elegance: her fresh purple and green tones are even modelled after the town’s iris flowers.

It’s one thing to design a beautiful anime character in two dimensions. But when that mascot gets transformed into a three-dimensional character costume, bad things can happen. Bad, bad things…

▼ Here’s Princess Miyako, as designed by talented artist Shiitake in 2012.

▼ And here she is today!

Two years, it seems, is a long time in show business.

In case we were in any doubt as to the identity of the mascot before us (seeing as she’s dressed – right down to the bow in her hair – in pink, and is for some unknown reason carrying a basket of stuffed cats), someone has helpfully written “Princess Miyako’s Donation Box” on that cardboard box next to her.

Perhaps Shiitake’s graceful, anime design was part of Princess Miyako’s three-dimensional downfall: it’s easier to make plush adult costumes out of rotund cartoon characters than it is svelte anime princesses, after all.

You can check out more of Shiitake’s beautiful work on her deviantART page or website. Just don’t make any more ‘yuru-kyara’ costumes out of them. Please.

Sources: HamusokuShiitake website
Images: Shiitake via Miyako-machi, Miyako-machi
Featured image: Shiitake via Miyako-machi